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Homeless Veterans: A United States Black Eye

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posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 06:44 AM
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Homeless Veterans: A United States Black Eye



They were Soldiers and Sailors, Marines and Airmen, National Guard and Coast Gurad, heroes all, where can we find them? Look in a cold dark alley under some card board boxes.

It is said that a veteran is someone who wrote the United States Government a check in an amount up to and including his or her very life. They stood up for the very principles that made this country great. They served with distinction, honor and valor. So why have so many found themselves homeless?

I was walking with some guys I worked with one bright and sunny day when we passed a group of homeless. No signs or other paraphernalia to indicate they were homeless, other than their attire and overall look of having slept outdoors for an extended period of time. A few had some unit patches on and were obviously veterans. I walked over and spoke to some of them and gave them some money. Upon returning to my workmates, one asked me why I did that. I said that they needed it, only to be met with several outbursts of things like, “They are just all drunks”, “They are only homeless because they want to be”, etc. I was quite simply amazed at the ignorance of such statements until I got home and started doing some research. I found that this is a prevailing sentiment among the more fortunate and those that have never served. I also discovered the vast numbers of homeless that have honorably served this country. To say I was shocked is putting it mildly. So I asked myself why.

PTSD?
Alcoholism?
Other Depressions?
Fear of Society?
Lack of Training or Job Specific Abilities?
Any or all of the above?

I suffer from PTSD and through the years and my own actions; it has manifested itself into Clinical Depression. I say this to set a standard we can work from as far as being homeless goes. I have been homeless; actually living in my car for a period of time. I have also experienced good fortune and success. I now find myself at the back end of that success, unemployed and wondering where my future will go from here. To say I understand homeless veterans is to simplify their plight and does not begin to do justice to what it is they are or have experienced. Let us just say I am one among many.

Looking at the problem it is easy to wonder how the very government that routinely spends billions of dollars of tax payer money on a warship or airplane, can stand by and not take an active role in fixing this nationwide disgrace. It is sadly far more complicated than that.
The government does have programs for veterans. Most are free and fairly extensive. Medical care is provided as well at a basic level through VA Hospitals and Clinics. Educational programs, career guidance and even technical training can be found. All of this only makes our question, why, more elusive.

PTSD is a horrible and potentially debilitating mental ailment. It can make you wonder if what you perceive around you is reality or a waking dream. It has been my experience that the effects of PTSD are directly related to the extent of trauma the individual experienced at the time. PTSD does not get better over time; in fact it will get worse if not treated. As I stated above, it will eventually develop into some other form of depression and the results can be life threatening. Yet much of society still considers it to be a personal failing or weakness on the part of the individual. I am also not intending on stating that every homeless veteran has PTSD. While I believe the vast majority do, it is simply my hypothesis.

One of the most difficult aspects of homelessness, and PTSD, is the stigma society has placed on anyone that steps up and admits to needing help. (Reference Above) Even in the enlightened society we proudly claim to be living in, weakness of any kind is often treated no differently than the African Savanna. As Darwin so accurately pointed out, it is and still remains a land of “Survival of the Fittest”. Also at play here is man’s propensity to easily forget the good and always remember the bad about any one individual. I have heard it a thousand times and it is very true that you can do a million good deeds and all be washed away with one bad. No matter how much these men and women may have been heroes, now they are looked down on due to their circumstance. Human Nature.

I have asked myself again and again how our elected representatives cannot be actively preparing legislation to help our vets as each day they walk by the homeless on their way to and from their jobs in Washington DC. Yet they remain strangely quiet about this national ailment.

I do not have the answers; no just more and more questions. I wish that I did have the answer to this national disgrace. I am a Conservative and I believe that charity begins at home, so is it our local communities that are falling short here? Churches and Conservative Organizations are still far and above the largest contributors to charities, yet it seems that nothing is being done, or even planned on being done for our homeless vets. There are organizations of course, but not enough and definitely not enough funding. While charity may start at home, these men and women wrote that life check to our GOVERNMENT; should not in this instance, the same government step up?
Answers?
Funding?
Government Intervention?
Create a Government Office?
Media Exposure?

As I previously stated, I do not have the answer, only more questions. I do know that more exposure can only be a good thing. Maybe if we shove it in enough people’s faces, they will begin to stop turning away.

Semperfortis
USMC

Department of Veterans Affairs

Jericho Project



+1 more 
posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 07:01 AM
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reply to post by semperfortis
 





posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 07:05 AM
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S & F from me. Issue close to my heart!!

the dreaded lurgy

:thumbsup:

( ^ has to be written cos the little emoticon has gone)



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 07:07 AM
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It's more than just a black eye, it's a national disgrace. Veteran's charities are one of three that I regularly donate to, but every time I do it tightens my jaws. I believe the US has a duty to take care of any service member that was injured in the line of duty for the rest of their lives. And I'm talking first rate care. The money we just spent on the Gerald Ford could have fed, clothed, and housed every vet in America.

Sorry, but this kind of thing just gets me too worked up to post coherently, and I have to leave soon. I think there should be a national push to discourage young people from enlisting until the government makes a real commitment to taking care of our vets, and backs it up with actions and money.



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 07:16 AM
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reply to post by semperfortis
 


Well said. Our government takes volunteers into the military, ships them overseas to fight wars for profits under the farce of protecting liberty, then when they are all done using them, the government throws them out like yesterday's garbage. I'm a veteran of OEF and I can tell you that this is the sentiment that I see from the government. A bunch of lip service to the veterans to make it look like they care, but as soon as something goes wrong, veterans are one of the first to be targeted as pawns in political games like the government shutdown and sequester. Heck the government has shown that they do not even trust veterans anymore with the training documents released stating that veterans are potential domestic terrorists. What a sad joke, we go from being celebrated heroes to possibly enemies of the state when given our ETS papers.



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 07:32 AM
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Effing shameful but it speaks volumes in regards to the attitude our government has towards members of the military: expendable.

And its nothing new. This has a long established precedence.

For those who actually care to study history, the US military is nothing more than the enforcement division for corporate America, except its on the tax payer's dime.

Pretty sweet deal. Military contractors buy politicians, who then wage endless warfare.

Contractors keep the profits, tax payers pay the bill via mountains of debt.

For many in the poorest parts of America, the military is their only way out. Otherwise one has to wonder why anyone would join.

Well, its because youre "serving your country" and "fighting for freedom". Yah right.

edit on 11-11-2013 by gladtobehere because: spelling



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 07:37 AM
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It is heartbreaking to see how returning defence Personnel are treated.

There is a real crisis. Govt is AU hasn't as yet even looked at the issue. It was on the table at least when Gillard Govt was in power...but now, that 'phase of Govt' is ousted...anything on the table has fallen on the floor.



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 07:42 AM
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http://reply to post by semperfortis
 


I am very glad to see that the homeless Vets won a huge Victory in Los Angeles. There was 400 acres donated to the Vets in the late 1800s. And through the years was closed to vets and rented out. I don't know what the plan is, but the property goes back to the Vets.
Im not good with linking but google "Homeless Vets Vs the VA. in Los Angeles.

Personally, I hope a section of the property will be left for the "wild" Vets who are more comfortable being outdoors in 'camps'. And a section for housing for those who do want to be indoors.

The Judge who gave the property back to the Vets is allowing 6 months for the current lessors of the Land to vacate the property. Sometime around March '14 they will get it back. If I were a Vet, I would be organizing with other Vets, and waiting at the Gates for that day. The Vets should get to decide how they will use the property. I am sure someone has already thought of a scheme to relieve the Vets of the property through outrages Property taxes or make new laws that will eliminate their use of the property.

400 acres is a lot of land. Perhaps they can work toward self-sustainability by growing their own food, and maybe even a volunteer thrift shop to earn money for the improvements and pay their Taxes. I would donate stuff to the Vets to resale.
One way or the other, I hope the property isn't so "regulated" and "out LAWED", and the homeless Vets can actually create a place to call home.
Im sure our Govt. would consider it a liability for thousands of Vets to be organized, well fed, and on their Game. So, it will be interesting to see, how much FREEDOM they will be given in downtown LA to create a Vet City.


edit on 11-11-2013 by misskat1 because: miss spell



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 08:00 AM
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I would just like to add two things here.

1. It takes more than just a bumper sticker to "Support our Troops".

2. In the movie "Goon" actor Liev Schreiber says: "Everybody loves a soldier until he comes home and stops fighting"

Just think about it for a second.



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 08:14 AM
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reply to post by semperfortis
 


/sarcasm on ..... But didn't you hear they are all being "invited politely" to come live in all the fancy "residential centers" now? So how are they not helping our heroes? /sarcasm off

I'll never understand how our country has become such a 'throw away' society, up to and including the people who thought they were fighting for us. Every time I see a soldier or a fireman and even a cop I know is a good one (we actually have 3 assigned to our itty bitty community who totally rock), I thank them. People look at me like I'm nuts. I've had people ask me "Why'd you do that?" I told them "Errr because he/she volunteered to risk his/her life to keep us free/safe for little to no reward and I appreciate the fact? Why wouldn't you thank them?"

Ugg people in general make me sick seriously. They just expect people to put their lives on the line for them and think it is no big deal. Personally I wouldn't blame those in the military that are gonna be told to fire on Americans if they did in disgust of what we've become. I'm hoping they won't in honor of what we used to stand for, but I wouldn't blame if they say to themselves "You made your bed, dug your hole now lie in it. Literally."



Lil



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 08:24 AM
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I just returned home from a free breakfast for veterans, attended with my step-father and we are both vets. It is a very nice gesture by a large midwest grocery store chain, kudos to HyVee. On the unfortunate side, HyVee tends to place there stores in fairly affluent areas so this event did not really serve those "In need".

While I applaud HyVee for this gesture, and truly enjoyed the comaraderie, seeing posts like this makes me think. What are this and other companies that offer deals for vets on this day doing in less affluent parts of town where vets truly in need reside?



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 08:37 AM
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You all make me proud....

I was hesitant to post this as ATS can be somewhat ignorant towards soldiers at times, but I am glad I did

(UP) (UP)
edit on 11/11/2013 by semperfortis because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 08:49 AM
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Lyrics:
Bodies fill the fields I see, hungry heroes end
No one to play soldier now, no one to pretend
Running blind through killing fields, bred to kill them all
Victim of what said should be
A servant 'til I fall

Soldier boy, made of clay
Now an empty shell
Twenty one, only son
But he served us well
Bred to kill, not to care
Do just as we say
Finished here, greetings Death
He's yours to take away

Back to the front
You will do what I say, when I say
Back to the front
You will die when I say, you must die
Back to the front
You coward
You servant
You blind man

Barking of machinegun fire, does nothing to me now
Sounding of the clock that ticks, get used to it somehow
More a man, more striipes you bare, glory seeker trends
Bodies fill the fields I see
The slaughter never ends

Soldier boy, made of clay
Now an empty shell
Twenty one, only son
But he served us well
Bred to kill, not to care
Do just as we say
Finished here, greetings Death
He's yours to take away

Back to the front
You will do what I say, when I say
Back to the front
You will die when I say, you must die
Back to the front
You coward
You servant
You blind man

Why, am I dying?
Kill, have no fear
Lie, live off lying
Hell, hell is here

Why, am I dying?
Kill, have no fear
Lie, live off lying
Hell, hell is here
I was born for dying

Life planned out before my birth, nothing could I say
Had no chance to see myself, moulded day by day
Looking back I realize, nothing have I done
Left to die with only friend
Alone I clench my gun

Soldier boy, made of clay
Now an empty shell
Twenty one, only son
But he served us well
Bred to kill, not to care
Do just as we say
Finished here, greetings Death
He's yours to take away

Back to the front
You will do what I say, when I say
Back to the front
You will die when I say, you must die
Back to the front
You coward
You servant
You blind man

Back to the front



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 09:01 AM
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reply to post by semperfortis
 


As a Vet, I do not like the term PTSD. It's not a disorder but a syndrome. It can be over come in many cases, though not always. Of course, without the "D", the VA will not provide disability benefits. Hell, maybe I'm the one who is broken. After three decades of service and multiple deployments, I sleep well and suffer no anxiety. I am aware that could always change and count myself lucky in that regard.

Soldiers are like everybody else, with their faults and strengths and weakness. The military lifestyle molds many at a young age and when they are discarded, they feel rightfully so IMO to have been used and in too many cases, it eats them up. That needs to be addressed. Not by throwing money at them but by a transition period to prepare them for the outside world. There is ACAP, but it is too short and poorly ran.

I know many injured Vets who could have gone the route of "Poor Me" but chose another path. I also know healthy Vets who have chosen the "Poor Me" attitude. It's an individual choice.

Many Vets are loath to accept charity, so it must be explained to them that you are giving them a hand up, not a hand out.

With that said, to all the Vets and those currently serving....Thank you.



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 10:46 AM
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I live in San Diego County, where legions of veterans go homeless. I've worked within a VAMC, and witnessed their untold suffering, both physical and psychological. Human beings sometimes so hurt, you have to wonder where they find the courage to continue their plight in life.

By and large the homeless face levels of discrimination, which make other forms of discrimination pale in comparison. Yet when it comes to the crying rhetoric of politicians and focus groups, discrimination against the homeless is seldom if ever mentioned.

Very sadly it is now considered a crime, to be homeless in many parts of America.

source: en.wikipedia.org...

edit on 11-11-2013 by seasoul because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 10:56 AM
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reply to post by semperfortis
 


And all the while the U.S. is sending millions upon millions overseas as "gifts". Give me a break! Washington needs to go. Obama needs to go. Everyone there needs to go.

As long as the U.S. has homeless children, vets and others, no money should be sent anywhere.



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 11:06 AM
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reply to post by semperfortis
 


Here is A Lifter-Upper. 99 And Dies alone only to have over 300 people come out to say so long.

Hope this is a good place to post this.

www.dailymail.co.uk... in-stands-honour-fallen.html#comments



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 12:28 PM
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reply to post by semperfortis
 


there are veterans that would give you the shirt off.. well their LIFE actually. People that serve with HONOR (honorable discharge) should be provided with basic dignity at the very least.

In a nation that can spend BILLIONS of dollars are foreigners (people who contributed NOTHING) and even have foreigners with JOBS while there are veterans without, makes me more disgusted with the state of our society than much else.

If the govt took better care of veterans there would be no need for even ONE CENT spent on recruitment advertising. I have to wonder, all the airtime for commercials alone could probably solve this issue OVERNIGHT.



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 12:31 PM
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Auricom
reply to post by semperfortis
 


And all the while the U.S. is sending millions upon millions overseas as "gifts". Give me a break! Washington needs to go. Obama needs to go. Everyone there needs to go.

As long as the U.S. has homeless children, vets and others, no money should be sent anywhere.


People may one day realize... the enemy is NOT off in a foreign land.. the enemy is the billionaires!

rich vs. poor... yet all forget this.

the aid money is bribes to those overseas so that the corps can screw people over there for a profit also.

The world would be a much better place if all multi millionaires and their heirs did not EXIST



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 12:33 PM
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reply to post by DrumsRfun
 


but Israel needs more money, $3 Billion + is not enough for the worlds only perpetual victims.






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